Sometimes You Just Need To Remember That You Are Not Alone

YouAreNotAlone_MelissaMashburn

Dear one, I see you there struggling to make ends meet. Trying to make things make sense and just clear your head from all the distractions pulling on you right this very minute. Your mind is racing and you begin to wonder how you even got to this place, but here’s one thing you need to know – you are not alone.

I know it might feel like it at times.

Believe me I know.

That’s just not the truth though. Oh yeah, sure. the enemy is going to do his best to try to get you to give up hope. To feel lost. To isolate yourself. To just plain give up. But don’t because there’s a truth that you need to grab hold of — not just in your head, but also in your heart.

Our Heavenly Father is madly, deeply in love with you and He wants to rescue you from the pain that has a grip on your heart.

He wants you to know that…You are not alone.

Yes, I know that it’s easy to believe the lies that you are alone. I also know that the stress, pressure and stuff weigh heavy on your heart. To the point that some days it is hard to even get out of bed. I get that, because I’ve been there too.

I know what it’s like to;

– feel like I’m the only one going through this difficult situation.
– think that no one would love me or accept me if they knew me, I mean really knew me.
– believe that people would abandon me if they saw the scars from my pain or my past.
– hurt from deep down in my soul and wonder why this is happening to me.

Yes, I my friend, I am just like you.

Our stories and struggles might not be the same, but this much is true. How we “feel” doesn’t decide how we are loved or if we are lonely. As Lysa TerKuerst so eloquently says in her book Unglued, “my feelings are indicators, not dictators”.

Sweet friend, whatever you are going through right now you must grab hold of this — You never have been and you never will be alone.

You want to know how I know?

 

Then join me over at the Internet Cafe Devotions site… click here to read the rest of the post.

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Oh…maybe you are like me and you like to have these reminders for your phone or for your Instagram, then here’s a pic that is sized perfectly to share just for YOU. You are more than welcome to snag it for yourself. Enjoy! :)

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Book Review: The Accidental Empress

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My Thoughts About the Book:

By far one of the most powerful, rich and incredible books that I’ve read. I could see, hear, smell and feel all the sights and sounds that Sisi experienced as if I was right there with her. My heart hurt so deeply at times for her and yet I was also encouraged and empowered by such a beloved historical figure.

Whomever said that history was boring has clearly never dug into the stories of royalty and peeled back the layers of intrigue, drama and family propriety. I love Allison Pataki not only shares the story of the Accidental Empress, she does so in a way that sweeps you right off your feet. I could not put it down and could not wait to do a little digging into the history of Hadsburg Empire on my own.

About the book:

The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry.

Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Intrigued by Sisi’s guileless charm and energetic spirit, not to mention her unrivaled beauty, Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.

Plucked from obscurity and thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi has no idea what struggles and dangers—and temptations—await her. Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.

With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, compelling characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into the bedrooms and staterooms of one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Habsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”
Watch the trailer for the Accidental Empress -> https://youtu.be/ZOaHsIe59qk 

You can purchase a copy of the Accidental Empress here: http://allisonpataki.com/books/the-accidental-empress/

About the Author:

View More: http://triciamccormack.pass.us/allison_selectsALLISON PATAKI is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical novels The Traitor’s Wife and The Accidental Empress. She graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets.

The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write The Accidental Empress by her family’s deep roots in the former Habsburg empire of Austria-Hungary. Allison is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization, ReConnect Hungary. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and FoxNews.com, and is a member of The Historical Novel Society. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband.

 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

New Book from Rachel Hauck | ‘How to Catch a Prince’ and Royal Giveaway

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My Thoughts About the Book:

Oh my stars! I am not sure I have ever cried as much over a book as I did this one. Rachel Hauck is a literary genius and as much as I loved the first book in this series “Once Upon a Prince”. With characters that are real, rich with depth and heartache this has quickly become my favorite Christian Fiction book this year.

I finished the book in one day, I set aside a whole afternoon to sit back, pull up a blanket and a cuppa coffee because I needed to take a break. Not a get away and run around break, but a break from the hustle and bustle of every day life. The great thing is that Rachel Hauck delivered on that promise. I won’t ruin in for you, but there’s a scene towards the end of the book that I nearly lost it while I was right there in the scene with the prince.

As someone who also writes I am a sucker for every single detail in the book — I read reviews inside the cover and all the acknowledgments in the back cover as well. What I found in the back of the book is that writing this particular book wasn’t an easy process for the author, as a matter of fact, she mentioned that in the face of great obstacles she called out for prayer from her friends and family to help carry her through. The most amazing part of it all — in my opinion, this was one of her best books ever.

Don’t take my word, go out and grab a copy of “How To Catch A Prince” for yourself!

About the book:

How to Catch a Prince (Zondervan, February 2015)

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey’s life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she’s shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war. When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen’s pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it’s own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts. Or let it be lost forever?

You can purchase a copy here: http://bit.ly/1BD8DVo

About the author:

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Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find Rachel online: website, Facebook, Twitter

 

An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever? Find out in Rachel Hauck’s new book, How to Catch a Prince. True love has a destiny all its own. With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again?

Enter to win a “royal” prize pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A royal-themed Brighton charm bracelet
  • 2 tickets to see the new Cinderella movie
  • The Royal Wedding series (Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, and How to Catch a Prince)

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on Rachel’s blog.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}
 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Taking Down the Facade

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If you’ve spent any time in ministry, especially with women, chances are you’ve been hurt, burned, back-stabbed or misunderstood.

It’s painful. It’s brutal. It flat out sucks the wind from your sails. And in order to protect yourself from getting hurt again, you put up a façade.

Chances are you probably don’t even remember when you started to wear that mask, but to protect your heart, you did.

I did it too. After fifteen years in ministry, I have seen it all, experienced a lot of incredibly tough stuff and had my heart broken many times.

I built a protective barrier around myself—the façade—in order to keep people from getting close to the real me.

In doing so, though, I also kept myself completely isolated.That led to feelings of loneliness, isolation and, at times, even depression. It wasn’t until about six years ago I decided to lay down the mask and let God show me how to put away the façade.

Paul told the Roman Christians,

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9-10 NLT).

In other words, God tells us,

“Lay down your mask! Get real! Love people!”

If you are struggling with this like I have, here are a few things to help you as you learn to lay down your mask.

1. Pray First

Ask God to open your heart and allow you the opportunity to just be you. Ask Him to be your protector, and to also bring you a few truly special, safe friends who can come around you as you take these steps.

2. Talk to Your Spouse or Close Family Member

If you’re married, talk it over with your spouse. Ask him to be a part of the process with you and seek out his prayers.

If you’re not married, talk it over with a close family member who understands you and your struggle to be more authentic in ministry.

3. Talk to Your Pastor

If you’re in ministry at a local church, I encourage you to talk it over with your pastor. Ask him to pray for you as you step into new territory in ministry.

This takes another step of vulnerability. I understand that. But by bringing your pastor in on this process, he can help you venture into new territory.

4. Give Yourself Time

If you’ve been in ministry for more than ten years, you’ve probably slowly built up the façade. It’s not going to just disappear; it will take time.

Make sure you allow yourself time to release years of protective layers around your heart.

5. Give It All Back to God

Whatever steps you make, and however long it takes, if God has called you to ministry, He has equipped you to do it as well.

Celebrate the small steps. Give Him all the glory and continue moving forward.

I know it’s not going to be easy—it wasn’t for me either—but the women God has brought into our lives are desperate for women in ministry to be real, to show them what it is like to live out ordinary lives with God at the forefront.

Let’s take this step together and see what God will do.

Are you wearing a mask today? What is keeping you behind the façade? What will you do to “get real” so God can minister through your transformed life?

 

This post was originally posted on 2/24/15 over at Upgrade with DawnDawnHeader

Have you heard of Upgrade with Dawn? You should check it out…

Just as we upgrade our cell phones, appliances, hairstyles and so many other things … we can UPGRADE our lives. We can make positive decisions for change.

FRESH, ENCOURAGING Guest BLOGGERS on this site share how we can UPGRADE our attitudes, marriage, finances, parenting, and so many other areas. Especially our heart. Their voices will encourage, teach, and show how to improve, boost, enhance, uplift, repair, renovate and rebuild our lives – all synonyms for “UPGRADE!” UPGRADE also offers helpful tools and resources.

A Word To Boy Moms About Preparing Your Heart

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Attention boy moms, there’s going to come a time when you need to make room in your heart for your son’s special girl. Ouch, I know, that’s a tough one, especially if you have little boys at home right now. As a matter of fact it took me a long time to wrap my head (and my heart) around this, but I’m hoping that through my trial and error your transition might be a little smoother.

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Over the years it’s not always been easy, as any boy mom can attest to. They are rowdy, rambunctious, messy, smelly, and pretty much keep you on your toes every minute of every day. Yep, I’m a boy mom through and through. Those two precious boys wrapped this mama heart around their fingers so tightly that when they started to grow up it was painfully hard for me to let them.

I knew that the day would come when another girl would grab their heart but nothing really prepared me for sharing my boys with someone else. I had prayed for good, godly girls to come into their life, but when they showed up I struggled. Unfortunately it wasn’t a smooth transition either–for me, for the boys, or even the girls.

for the rest of the post, head on over to the M.O.M. Initiative.

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Don’t know about the M.O.M. Initiative? Here’s a little about what we do:

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The M.O.M. Initiative is an acrostic for Mothers on a Mission to Mentor Other Mothers. Our goal is to minister to moms who know Christ and reach those who don’t.

As a ministry, we provide resources and support to help the body of Christ make mentoring missional…to not only begin to mentor moms within the four walls of the church, but to mentor moms beyond the walls of the church in order to impact our communities and this culture for Christ.

With resources for the local church and area ministries, training, an online database of M.O.M. Groups, daily online encouragement, and ministry support, The M.O.M. Initiative helps connect local churches and ministries with one another and with the community.